Tuesday, February 24, 2015

GUEST BLOGGER! Cheryl's Farm Fresh Wisdom!

      Well, yeehaw and slap your grandma! We got us a guest blogger here at the Mine and we’re plum tickled pink from our boots to our suspenders! This is gonna be a regular segment, entitled, Cheryl's Farm Fresh Wisdom. She’s a dear friend who truly tries to help others find the “Upper Pasture,” if ya get my meaning. She’s a farmer, so is her better half and her near grown son as well. She’s got so many cattle, you can’t shake a stick at ‘em. Then there's goats, chickens, kittens, a one-eyed rabbit, and even some honery longhorned cattle.So pull up a bale a straw, grab a good green foxtail to chaw on, and settle in to Cheryl’s Farm Fresh Wisdom. (Did I mention ya'all might win a $10 buck gift certificate? I didn't?! Well, bless my soul, 'tis true!) Without further ado . . .

     My name is Cheryl. I'm 50 years old. I live on a cattle farm with my 15 year-old son, Matthew, and my husband of 5 years, Darrel; whom I married after being widowed for 8 years. We own several farms and raise 300-400 head of cattle for beef purposes, 30-50 head of goats and 200-300 chickens for my son’s egg business. Needless to say, we are always busy and forever in a hurry. We normally don’t hire for help. We farm corn, soybeans, wheat and mostly hay in addition to our livestock.

     Our farms are located in Southern Indiana, where one thing is for sure, the weather is always changing. Just this week we received almost a foot of snow. My son missed 3 days of school due to the severe weather. This morning was -5 degrees with a wind chill of -15 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. So keeping these animals warm and dry, fed and watered becomes a challenge. Just getting dressed to go out requires an act of Congress! LOL I start with wool socks and a long-sleeved undershirt. Then comes the insulated jeans, heavy sweatshirt, bib overalls, heavy winter coat, sock hat, gloves, and hand warmers. And finally, insulated green rubber boots. This mental image is killing you, right?

     Well, I usually get about half the way to the chicken yard when the blast of cold air convinces me I need to use the restroom. So back in I go, only to undo all I’ve just described. What an ordeal just to do my daily activities!

     Since patience is not one of my main virtues, I thought I could just skip the hand warmers. This was not a wise move while trying to water animals in sub-zero temperatures. Our barn is about a fourth of a mile away from our house, not an easy distance to run back home. So half way through my chores I scurried back to the house, seeking shelter and crying like a baby. My fingers were frozen and oh, they hurt so very badly. It was at this precise moment when our Glorious God decided to teach me a lesson that I should have already learned.

     He brought it to my attention that if I was going to do his work in a hostile environment, then I had better dress for the occasion. I still remember my Dad getting ready to work in the coal mines. He always wore a long-sleeved denim welding shirt, hard hat, steel-toed shoes, and carried a thermos of coffee and a lunch bucket. 

     Why is it then we go about God’s business ill prepared? Why do we fail to be fully prepared for the work ahead of us? God told us to, ‘ready ourselves!’  How often do we stop at the door, TV, or computer screen and put on the Armor of God before we step into the hostile world? 

     There is no way I'd go out in this frigid weather virtually naked! So I am taking extra steps to ready myself by putting on the full Armor of God.  Ephesians 6:10-18 tell us to put on:

1. The Belt of Truth
2.  The Breastplate of Righteousness
3.  Shoes of Peace
4.  Shield of Faith
5.  Helmet of Salvation 
6. The Sword of the Spirit-which is God's Word!

Maybe by readying myself with the Armor of God, this will prevent me from having to turn tail to the devil, running and crying and injured into my Heavenly Father’s arms. I know I will be fully equipped by putting on the full Armor of God to be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. It is cold and brutal out there!!! Dress Accordingly and ready yourselves!

Here’s some references for you to study on: 

Ephesians 6:10-18
Matthew 24:44
Ezekiel 38:7
Jeremiah 1:17.

May the Lord bless ya, and keep ya,

Now we done been to church! Thanks Cheryl! You're the best!  We'd love to hear from ya'all. Leave a comment and one blessed person will receive one of them fancy certificates, fer 10 bucks to your local department store. Thank ya fer stoppin' in, and don't forget to, "be ready!"


Megan Besing said...

Awesome advice, Cheryl. He does like to teach me through practical application too! So glad your fingers warmed up enough to get this typed!!! :)

gail Kittleson said...

You paint quite the lumberjack picture of yourself, Cheryl - I'm from Iowa, so I know what you mean. Sorry about the fingers…but those lessons are treasures. Thanks for sharing, and Renee, it's good to discover this blog.


Renee Blare said...

Hi Megan, thanks for stopping by. :)

Renee Blare said...

Hello, Gail and welcome to the Diamond Mine. :)

nancy bolton said...

Welcome to your first blog on the Mine, Cheryl.. I've been looking forward to your debut with us! Great advice! I love the way God uses everyday things to teach us important concepts. He is wonderful! And so are you! I'm so glad to meet you.